In 1987 Emily Perl Kingsley wrote an essay about raising a child with a disability. The story goes that parents get on a plane bound for Italy- their dream vacation. When they land, they disembark into Holland. They are disappointed that this is not what they signed up for and mourn the loss of what they thought was the ideal vacation. After time, they get to know Holland and see the beautiful history and colorful tulips and finally recognize that Holland is beautiful and rich in its own way. They are happy they landed in Holland and wouldn’t have it any other way.
I signed up for a trip to Italy and got the diversion notice to Holland quite early in my trip. I said, ok, let’s go to Holland. Then my plane was diverted to Siberia. Ok, I said, let’s go to Siberia, as long as we land safely.
My plane crashed in the ocean. I am sinking, drowning, awaiting rescue.
I see plane after plane fly above me, bound for Italy, bound for Holland, bound for Siberia.
They will land safely. Some people look out the window and see me flailing. They recognize how fortunate they are to get to their destination. Some wish they could help in someway, but are lost in the how. Some people fly cluelessly above, having no idea that planes get diverted or crash. Some people look down and see me, patting their bellies and thinking smugly, too bad for her and then go back to planning their vacation, making reckless decisions like not even wearing their seatbelt.
A few other survivors bob along with me in the ocean, but they have floated too far for me to even call out to them. I float alone, my tears spilling in to a sea of sorrow that will soon swallow me up whole. Where is my rescue?